I Got Bullied. And I Can’t Get Over It.

So, the other night I saw a tweet that said something about unfollowing someone because their avatar was ugly. It was a startlingly unnecessary sentiment, particularly coming from an adult.ย  I clicked over to the person’s timeline to see what her story was and to decide if I wanted to keep following a person who was thoughtlessly mean and lo and behold! The ugly-avatar-haver was me! And the tweeter had unfollowed me for it!

Well! I never…

After a little bit of back and forth with my remaining followers about being called ugly by a stranger who didn’t like my thumbnail photo, I decided I couldn’t sleep with this ricocheting around in my head. I told her outright that she had hurt my feelings. She defended her action by saying it was a joke, and I shouldn’t feel bad about it unless I really thought I was ugly, which my my issue, not her fault, and I should just get a thicker skin.

Oh. I see. The problem is really me. Not her at all.

That is typical bully bullshit. Bull. Shit. Trying to flip the situation around and somehow make the harmed person feel like their reaction is their fault and their feelings are illegitimate and they need to get over it? That’s flat out wrong, in all senses of the word. It’s factually incorrect and morally incorrect. See, if I poke you in the eye, the problem is not that you have nerve endings that are screaming in agony. The problem is I’m a dick who poked you in the eye.

I am so damn sick of a culture where we let our every little thought fly into open space, regardless of whether or not that thought is necessary, and without consideration of the implications. What value does calling someone ugly have? None. And what are the potential consequences of calling someone ugly within their hearing? Potentially terrible. So why say it at all? That’s the real question, isn’t it? Why say it at all?

Here’s a good rule of thumb for dealing with other people: Don’t say anything to or about someone that you wouldn’t want someone to say to or about your child.ย  Or your mom. Or your best friend.

A shorter version of that rule of thumb: Don’t be a bitch.

I’m having a hard time letting go of the attitude that woman on Twitter showed me. I’m simultaneously sad and furious that she can’t see that she was unkind for no good reason and that she should be chagrined, if not ashamed. I keep changing my picture and makingย  snotty little remarks about how it’s prettier than the old one. I keep going over the incident with people who ask. And the bully? Is still calling me names for not being able to walk away from having my looks, my feelings, and ultimately my intelligence insulted by someone who is thoughtless and not really worth my time or attention. But I can’t let go and I can’t stop engaging with her. I want her to learn to be nicer. I want her to admit that she’s wrong. I want her to apologize. I want to be able to stop remembering how it felt to be called ugly. But I can’t stop remembering. And I can’t stop feeling bad.

What I can stop doing – what I need to stop doing – is needling her on Twitter. Because what I’m doing now is just looking for revenge and that’s just plain bad. That’s when people really start getting hurt. That’s when I could say something that I will ultimately regret.

That should be the lesson in this, really. You never know what reaction words will have and you should choose them carefully. Or not use them at all.







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23 comments for “I Got Bullied. And I Can’t Get Over It.

  1. Jessica
    May 5, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Oh my goodness. How cruel and stupid can people get?
    I am sorry that someone said that to you, though you really should know that in no way are you ugly, no matter what some ignorant idiot says. ๐Ÿ™‚ What good does calling someone ugly do? Nothing except make the insecure fool that is doing the name calling feel better about themselves.
    I know the feelings you are having, cause I’ve been there myself… but I always remind myself of a quote that goes something like ;
    “Don’t argue with stupid people, because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
    Always use this to remind me that sometimes you really just can’t “fix stupid.” No matter how hard you try.

  2. May 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

    First, I’d like to say that I love your regular avatar photo, the one you have here on your blog. I wish you would change it back to that.

    I know it’s hard to stop engaging with her, but based on her tweets, I do not think she will be changing any time soon.

    I’m sorry that she did that to you, but YOU are MUCH BETTER than that and to continue to try and make her see how cruel she is, is not worth your time.

    Sending your BEAUTIFUL face some love…XO

  3. May 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I read a post a few days ago that compared Twitter to a high school cafeteria. It’s apt. (APT! I say!)

    There are sad, pathetic, insecure little women in the blogosphere who found “friendship” with other moms just like them. They all sit together at the same lunch table and pick at their salads and Diet Coke while looking around the room snarking at everyone not sitting at their table. (And probably whispering/giggling to their BFF about their “friend” sitting further down their table.)

    I have a Twitenemy that wrote an entire post bashing me. I quietly confronted her, went through some back and forth, rolled my eyes, and blocked her. This isn’t high school–I don’t have to avoid her in the halls and wonder if/when she’s going to start shit–all I have to do is block her.

    It stuns me that these people are MOTHERS. Lord.

  4. May 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Sadly, the problem is usually the bully – and you just can’t fix stupid or mean unless the person wants to change. I feel for you, been there myself. Right now we’re teaching our school age girls (beautiful 11 & 9 yr olds) how to effectively shut down the bullies who insist on making fun of them because they are not athletically inclined. It sucks. But this person obviously doesn’t give a crap about how much she’s hurting you because she keeps doing it. So unfortunately you’re just better off dropping it. Sad but true. *hugs*

  5. MIM fan
    May 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I did a little research on this bully, and here’s what I learned from her very own blog:
    As per her own “about” page, saying mean things is her gimmick and the most interesting thing about her. She will not blog if it interferes with her weekly hair appointment. She brags about responding to a high school rumor by having her friends and relatives respond with such threats of violence that the young man alleged to have started the rumor had to transfer schools. She talks about high school a lot. She has been called an “internet thug” by other bloggers. Also, her Twitter avatar looks like a sex worker. She might want to think about changing that. Oops. Did I just stoop to her level? Sorry about that.

  6. MKP
    May 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I am sorry that happened to you, and that the bully is being so schmucky about facing up to the fact that she said something bitchy and someone noticed.

    Also, one of the most liberating things I’ve done for myself is remove the stigma from the word “fat” in my head. Fat is something I have on my body. It is what it is. “Ugly” is also just a state of being. It’s such a seinfeldian idea – “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    Even if you were ugly you would still be smart, kind and fun. If your facial features were not arranged so as to be aesthetically pleasing to a rude anonymous internet person… you’d still be you, with all the ensuing awesomeness that entails.

  7. May 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I went onto the twitter an looked this up. I read through that “lady”‘s twitter stream. She is EXACTLY the type of person I have absolutely no time for…spoiled and entitled.

    I am sorry it hurt your feelings. Sending a hug.

  8. Amy
    May 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I wonder if this bully is the same one who left a confession on Scarymommy website regarding leaving mean comments and using other bloggers names that she doesn’ t like. Sounds like her MO.
    It sucks that “adults” are bullies and think the faceless www will protect them. I have been bullied 3 times in my life by different groups of mean girls and it hurt at 13 and at 20 and at 39. Yep 39.
    One day this person who hides behind taunts, and meanness will have her comeuppence. I believe in Karma and what comes around, goes around. It will happen.
    Rebekkah now you have to “let it go” but in a sense you did by writing about it. Good for you!
    You always are an amazing person in my book. One day, we will meet face to face.

  9. May 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I love you. And I think you’re beautiful in every way but especially in the ways that really matter. You have a beautiful soul, a beautiful spirit, and a stunningly gorgeous way with words.

    You’re a beautiful woman inside and out.

    But none of that matters when someone does something like that because as Julia Roberts so aptly said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff’s easier to believe.”

    I’m sorry she did that to you.

  10. Kelly L
    May 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Wow! Super idiotic. If you ask my 11 year old daughter our top 5 rules, one of them she will recite is, “When in doubt, shut your mouth.” It is a loose interpretation of Proverbs: “Even a fool will be thought wise if they keep their mouth closed.” So many would be spared so much if they followed this. Oh, me too….

  11. peggey
    May 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    It sounds like you’re dealing with an argumentative second head. For those who don’t know, it’s a magically-conjured second head who sits on your shoulder & argues with EVERYTHING you say. It will NEVER agree with you. Ever. Even if you quote what it just said, it will disagree. It defies logic, reason, even a punch in the face, as it will just bite your ear off in retaliation.

    The only way to deal with the mental anguish is to know what you’re dealing with and cut off all contact. And shoot some nerf guns to release the frustration.

  12. Katlyn
    May 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I say…be thankful she isn’t a follower any longer. You don’t want dumb asses following you anyway. Be thankful that NOW all you are left with is the rest of us who are highly intelligent, extremely gorgeous, and ever faithful followers that think the world of you!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )

  13. May 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    She’s just angry because she doesn’t have Justin Bieber following her around, stalking her even.

    Don’t hate the haters. Just block/ignore them and move on, they just want reactions from you.

    Fuck ’em all ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. May 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Mean people suck. And by the way, you’re beautiful.

  15. Layne
    May 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I always say, “Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t me you SHOULD do something.” Kind of like looking at porn at the library.

  16. May 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    But you’re so lovely! I don’t understand. Even if I thought you were unattractive—which I don’t!—I wouldn’t feel the need to comment on it. Some of us can only do the best we can with what God gave us and allow our inner beauty to do the rest of the work. ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks are especially touchy because it’s something we can’t always do something to change. But we can walk away from lousy situations and choose to be the bigger person, which I’m glad you’re choosing to do. That’ll needle her worse than any witty comebacks. Being ignored sucks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. May 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Despite the saying, words CAN and DO hurt. More than sticks and stones in that bruises fade, but hearing words repeated in your head never goes away. I would like to say it will get better with time, but I had an ex (politely) tell me he didn’t find me attractive. It was almost 20 years ago. It still zings me to think about it. I certainly don’t have very high self-esteem when it comes to my looks.

    Have you seen The Mom Pledge on http://efloraross.com? It’s a group of women who are anti-cyber-bullying. You might want to friend them on Twitter instead and help build each other up.

    My heart goes out to you…

  18. May 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    1) You are decidedly, unequivocally, empirically NOT ugly.

    2) Twitter, texting, Facebook, and other mediums have caused a rampant and widespread malfunction of humanity’s Self-Edit button.

    3) I’m so sorry. Mean people suck. THEY’RE ugly.

    4) And to your rude Twitter person – gimme a break. You were “that girl” in high school, weren’t you? You know, the one that everyone seemed to be around and have self-perceived power over, but no one actually LIKED? I bet you were. It’s hard letting go of that feeling of power, so you took it to Twitter? Get help.

  19. May 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

    That sucks. I just don’t get why people get their jollies on hurting and being mean to other people. It really just baffles my mind… She’s jealous. For sure. you are an amazing person and that is clear. You are intelligent that is for sure! You have inspired me to learn more about my government and I love the way you think, and a lot of it makes sense and Inever thought of those ways before.

  20. May 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

    By far, you are NOT ugly. Your beauty is only enhanced by your wisdom, humor and intelligence! Unfortunately, the internet has given people a serious sense of invincible anonymity which makes them much braver than they would be in person. I have not gone to the trouble to look this person up…her twitter or her blog…but from the rest of the comments here, I have to ask…are we sure she’s an adult? The comments of your other supporters here make me think the bully is still in high school which makes her 1. In need to a serious kick in the butt to wake her up to the real world and 2. Not worth your time and energy right now.

    You are amazing, and beautiful. And so much a better person than she.

  21. May 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Insightful and beautifully written (as always). She sucks. You’re awesome. That’s all there is to it.

  22. May 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    My words of advice:

    Don’t let someone rent space in your head for free.

    Walk away and know she’s a petty nasty woman!

    Xo susie

  23. May 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Wow that’s fucked up. I’m sorry.

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